An aerial view of the TMC (Credit: Droneworks)
Field Notes

Field Notes: How about some good news?

Each month, TMC compiles a list of accomplishments of the people and institutions across our medical campus

Field Notes: How about some good news?

4 Minute Read

Cristina Vetrano

Cristina Vetrano has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Houston (RMHH), effective August 17. Maj. General Rick Noriega, outgoing CEO, has retired. Vetrano joins RMHH from CanCare where she served as President and CEO. Before that, she served as executive director of Kids’ Meals. She also worked for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., and served in the Peace Corps as a small business volunteer in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Texas Heart Institute announced the incoming class of 13 fellows who will comprise the 2020-21 THI Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, sponsored by Baylor College of Medicine. Six of the incoming fellows—chosen from more than 750 applications from top medical programs around the country—will study general cardiology as first-year students; the other seven will study a subspecialty for one or two additional years of training.

Looking for the latest on the CORONAVIRUS? Read our daily updates HERE.

The U.S. News and World Report released its annual Best Hospitals lists, which include many Texas Medical Center institutions:

    • Houston Methodist ranked in the top 20 Hospitals in the United States and as the top hospital in Texas. In addition, Houston Methodist is ranked nationally in the following 11 specialties: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; and pulmonology and lung surgery.
    • The Menninger Clinic ranked No. 9 in the country for adult psychiatry hospitals. This latest ranking totals 31 consecutive years that the institution has been ranked in the top 10 as a national psychiatry leader.
    • Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center ranked No. 17 in the country for adult cardiology and heart surgery hospitals. Baylor St. Luke’s also ranked nationally in other categories: No. 21 for gastroenterology and GI surgery; No. 27 for cancer (the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center); and No. 47 for geriatrics.
    • TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital ranked No. 3 among the country’s top rehabilitation hospitals and was ranked the No. 1 rehabilitation hospital in Texas. TIRR has been included in the rankings since the report’s inception in 1989. In addition, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) ranked as the No. 5 hospital in Texas and the No. 3 hospital in the Houston metro area. The campus also ranked No. 43 nationally in ear, nose and throat. Also making the Top 10 statewide rankings were Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital at No. 9 and Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center at No. 10. In addition, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital ranked No. 22 nationally in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery and No. 31 in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery.
    • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ranked No. 1 in cancer care in the country. In addition, the institution ranked No. 4 in the ear, nose and throat specialty, No. 6 in the urology specialty, No. 14 in the gynecology specialty, No. 27 in the diabetes and endocrinology specialty, No. 41 in the geriatrics specialty and No. 46 in the gastroenterology and GI surgery specialty. MD Anderson has been named one of the nation’s top two cancer hospitals for three decades.

Through a title sponsorship with KPRC-TV, UT Physicians was able to help make a family’s dream of homeownership a reality. After several months of construction, the Marks family finally settled into their new Habitat for Humanity home. Employees of UT Physicians, UTHealth and McGovern Medical School participated in the building process.

Members of the Marks family stand in front of their new home, flanked by UT Physicians.

Houston Methodist’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) collaborated with Inprint this spring on a video series to encourage employees to engage in creative writing exercises as a way to relieve stress. Inprint, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire readers and writers in Houston, has partnered with CPAM since 2009, offering free creative writing workshops for employees throughout the Houston Methodist system. When the pandemic hit and Houston Methodist closed to all nonessential programs, Inprint developed a series of online videos featuring Inprint writers, each explaining the power of creative writing and offering a writing prompt. The writing prompts give employees a chance to process and reflect on current events.

Daphne Hernandez, Ph.D.

Daphne Hernandez, Ph.D., an associate professor at Cizik School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), received a $25,000 Dean’s Research Award for her study, “Creencias de salud: Health Beliefs, Socio-Economic Factors, and Mental Health of Hispanic Immigrant Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The grant will allow Hernandez to build on her work with Hispanic immigrant families and fund research into health beliefs and stressors related to COVID-19.

Jeff Temple, Ph.D.

A multi-institutional team led by Rice University has received a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project studying persistence and retention of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers across the nation. Joining Rice on the project are Middle Tennessee State University; the University of Rochester; Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; the University of Arizona; the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; the University of California, San Diego; and Kennesaw State University.

Jeff Temple, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has been honored by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation as a 2020 Piper Professor—one of ten statewide. Temple joined UTMB in 2007 and is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, director of Behavioral Health and Research and director of the Center for Violence Prevention. The 2020 Piper Professor recognition comes with a $5,000 grant from the foundation.


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